Renowned educationalist and women’s rights activist Mary Roy has passed away on Thursday. She was 89.
Roy, the founder of the Pallikoodam school, was known for winning the sensational Supreme Court lawsuit in 1986 against the gender-biased inheritance law prevalent within the Syrian Christian community of Kerala.
The judgment gave Syrian Christian women equal rights over the ancestral property as their male siblings.
Notably, she is the mother of Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy.
Born in 1933, Mary Roy was the daughter of P V Isaac, an entomologist by profession. She did her schooling at the Jesus and Mary Convent in Delhi and earned her degree from Queen's Mary College in Chennai.
Mary met her husband Rajib Roy while working as the secretary of a company in Calcutta. She later returned to her father's house in Ootty with her two kids after facing marital issues. The property dispute about this house eventually led to her legal battle with her brother George Isaac.
In 1961, she founded the school Corpus Christi, which was later renamed Pallikoodam.
She is survived by her daughter Arundhati and her son Lalit Roy.